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This little pamphlet contains incidents of pio-
neer life, which I have written from memory, and
I trust may be of interest to the reader.
Thomas T. Newby.
Clearing Land in My Youth.
Cider Mills and Cider Making.
Spiceland Quarterly Meeting of Friends.
The Latch String.
Underground Rail Road.
Railroad from Knightstown to Shelbyville.
My First Bananas.
Molasses and Sugar Making.
The farm on which this barn was built by Andrew Tharp was
boug'ht by my father, Henry Newby, in 1833. It was built proba-
bly about 1829, as I have seen that date on a log inside in red keal.
It is forty feet long, and twenty feet wide, outside measurement,
and about thirty feet high to the ridge pole. A partition was built
in the middle to the top. and 20foot logs were dove-tailed spliced
on this wall to make the long sides. However the middle partition
is the stable and passway wall up about eight feet, then the joists
over the stable and passway extend two and one-half feet over the
treading floor to the middle of the building, which is then built to
the top like the ends. This gives more space for the treading floor
or general purpose room. The logs were selected from the best,
and straightest, easy-working timber, such as Poplar, Blue Ash,
Red Elm and a fev/ Sugar trees, etc., twelve inches to eighteen
inches in diameter, and twenty feet long. Two sides of them were
lined and hewn to make a perpendicular wall seven inches thick.
Experts cut the saddles and notches to fit at the corners, and made
the dove-tailed splices as the heavy timbers were put up; and thus
the barn was biiilt from the foundation to the top. A partition of
logs across one end inside made a corn crib four and one-half feet
wide, nearly eighteen feet long, eight or nine feet high — this was
cut out long since. At the other end is a horse stable about 12x10
feet also built of logs inside, leaving a narrow pass and feed way
by the stable, to the treading floor and general purpose space. This
pass way had a small outside door with wooden hinges. A larger
door on one side opened to the treading floor. Split timber for
joists over the stable etc., with rails laid across them made the
The roof was of Red Oak clap boards four feet long, six to
eight inches wide, and hand-riven with f row and mallet, and put on
"clap-board style" — ie: on^* row was laid at the eves, and another
on it to break joints, and nailed through both at the upper ends
—a complete job was to nail through both ends. The next course
was a similar double row with sufficient lap on the first to prevent
leakapre, and thus on up to the ridge or top pole. This original
roof rotted out years ago.
The original floor. 1 think was sawed by "sash-saw, water-power
It was quite a pretentious barn for that day, and having been
twice removed and considerably remodeled is still doing me good
service at this (1916) date as a stock barn, though somewhat de-
My friend the late John D. Hill used to tell me an anecdote about
this barn. Soon after it was built, James Wright of Carthage, who
was some-what of a preacher would on Sabbath evenings encour-
age people to not fail to reach the Better World. On one occasion
there were several present, and the speaker was very enthusiasti-
cally describing Paradise, and wishing to make a comparison they
all could comprehend, exclaimed, "Why my friends it is as nice as
Note:— When shingle roofs were used on buildings, the shingles
were made of Blue Ash or Poplar timber of suitable sized blocks
eighteen inches long. The blocks were rove up in rough boards
with mallet and frow, and then dressed into "shingle shape" by
hand with a drawing knife on a rude "shaving horse." that held
them firmly, while being "shaved" or dressed. A slow process,
but they would out-last many times the "cut" or sawed shingles of
Clearing Land In My Youth.
Much valuable timber was burned or allowed to rot, for the peo-
ple needed the ground on which to grow corn, etc., and the easiest
and quickest way to clear it off was to "deaden" the trees, and in
two or three years burn them. I have helped to roll together and
burn fine Poplar and Oak trees, which if on the ground now would
be of more value than the land. Many "log rollings" were had
usually in early spring at which thirty or forty men — neighbors,
would be engaged sometimes two or more days on the same farm.
The logs were chopped or burned into convenient lengths for hand-
ling during the winter. Each man took his own good "hand spike"
of seasoned hickory, iron-wood or dog-wood, that he always kept
on hand for that purpose. Many tests of strength were had on
these occasions in lifting and carrying the logs to the "heaps." A
good yoke of oxen was often used to drag up the heaviest logs-
many farmers used oxen to plow, and do other farm work. No one
thought of asking or receiving pay for his work, but expected
"hands" (neighbors) to help at his "log-rolhngs"— a good whole-
some dinner was always served by the women at the farm house.
Often a man would help his neighbor every day, and burn his own
"log heaps" at night.
This wholesale clearing of timber off the land had a wonderful
effect on the whole country. Of dry seasons comparatively good
crops were raised. Of wet seasons not so good on account of the
large territory of swamp land, also of very wet seasons there was
so much swampy land covered with decaying vegetable matter that
in the autumn it was one field of malaria or "fever an' aigger" as
it was called. I knew it so prevalent that not a family in the
neighborhood was exempt, and once when there was scarcely an
individual for miles around but was affected with it. It was in
several forms, but the prevailing one was a chill in the morning
with fever in the evening, every other day; another the "Shaking
Ague" when the person's teeth would rattle and body shake for
an hour or more, and that followed by a high fever, in some cases
this would be every third day; with "Dumb Ague" there was no
perceptible chill, but much fever. While this sickness was rarely
fatal it was often very serious, and quinine was the universal rem-
edy, but many kinds of home made bitter teas were used— such as
dog-wood, cherry-bark, wild snake-root, bone set, etc.
The winters after so much timber was cut were more variable than
before. The greatest extreme in temperature I ever observed was
January 1. 1864. The date has been in dispute, but I was teaching
school at "Macedonia" at the time, and have a record of it. The
evening bafore, the temperature was 50 degrees, and raining, the
wind suddenly changed, coming from the northwest in blizzard
style with snow, and early the next morning my thermometer reg-
istered 20 degrees below zero — a change of 70 degrees in a little
more than twelve hours. Eleven children out of forty came to
school that day, two boys each had their right ears (to the wind-
ward) frozen, and their sister, whose ears were protected had a
white, frozen spot in her cheek, and they walked only a half a
mile. Many people were frozen, especially soldiers of the Civil
War in this and other states, as the blizzard was very extensive.
Samuel Addison, the hack-driver and mail carrier from Knights-
town by way of Carthage to Arlington took pneumonia and died.
There was much suffering in city and country. Many birds, espe-
cially quails, were frozen; and peach trees killed to the ground.
Then came the ditching period. A few farmers put in timber
ditches — a rail was placed on each side of the bottom of the ditch,
and short pieces of good oak timber placed across them, then cov-
ered with dirt. They did not last long, but good tile was soon
plentiful, and much used, and most of the swamp land was drained
and then the best crops ever known were produced. With the
ditching "ague and fever" was almost annihilated. But there were
such vast quantities of water carried from the ponds, and swamp
lands in comparatively so short a time, that floods in the large riv-
ers were increased. Many fine springs that had been "never fail-
ing" were made "wet weather" springs, and many of them now
afford an uncertain quantity of water; this is mainly because the
ponds and swamps, that use to feed them the year round are com-
pletely drained of all surface water in a few hours, but of course
the greater evaporation of moisture since the timber was removed
must be considered.
It was the custom with everybody In early times to keep fire,
usually in the kitchen fire-place during the summer, from the get-
ting of one meal to the next by partly covering a burning chunk
or some live coals with ashes. There were no matches with which
to start a fire, and it was rather difficult with a flint lock rifle. I
remember, once, one of our neighbor's fire burned out, and they
sent some of the children to our house to "borrow fire" to start
with again. It was a very rare thing for a country home to have
The first matches I ever saw was sometime before 1847. My sis-
ter Melly had been on horse-back to Knightstown trading, and she
bought a very small box (perhaps one dozen) sulphur matches.
She gave them to brother Henry and me, and we took them away
from, the house, and enjoyed them to the full extent by burning
The first cook stove my father had was a "Wolf," A very heavy
stove made in Cincinnati— it had a very large fire-box, that would
take in two-foot stove wood.
I assisted my mother, Sarah Newby, once, in making: some "dip-
candles." I procured some nice Golden Rod sticks about two feet
long, and we prepared the wicks by doubling and slightly twisting
the cotton, and made them about six inches long and much larger
than the wicks of present day candles. Eight or ten wicks were
strung on each of the Golden Rod sticks by their loops. In a large
deep, iron kettle we had a lot of tallow, with some bees-wax in it
to make the candles more firm— this was kept melted, but not too
hot while the dipping was being done, or the partly made candles
would be melted. No thermometer was at hand to test the tem-
perature. A "stick" of wicks was carefully dipped into the melted
mixture, and hung to drain over a pan of some sort to catch the
drippings. The other "sticks" of wicks were dipped in like man-
ner, then the first "stick" of wicks was dipped again and also the
others; at each dipping a thin coat of the mixture would stick to
and remain on the candles, and the dipping was continued until
they were of suitable size for use, probably a little over one-half
inch in diameter. This special dipping furnished sixty or eighty
candles for home use, enough for quite a while as candles were
used in those days.
Then came the three-candle tin molds, later the six and twelve.
Candles were used in the heavy iron, and brass "candle sticks"
and also in the tin lanterns.
Someone invented a "candle-snuffer," not to put the light out
with, but to clip off the charred end of the big wicks and cause
them to give a better light. They were made on the principle of a
pair of scissors with a small box fastened on one of the blades to
catch theclipped-off candle snuff. A point on the end of them was
made to open the wick and cause a better light. Snuffers were
made of iron or brass, and every family had one or more of them.
Our first pair was of wrought-iron, hand made and is still preserved.
The tin lanterns were about five and one half inches in diame-
ter and twelve inches high including a cone-shaped top to which
was fastened a tin, ring handle. A hinged door was made in one
side of the lantern and a tin socket in the center of the bottom of
the lantern for the candle. The body of the lantern had many
perforations, some of ornamental design to permit the rays of
light to pass through and illuminate a road or objects as desired,
and could be carried about barns and other buildings with safety.
A small, iron grease lamp was used. It was a round, flat cup one
inch deep, 2'i inches across and connected on a level with this was
a two inch extension one inch wide and one inch deep in which to
place a wick. The top was covered, one-half the lid on the circu-
lar part and that nearly over all the wick part being hinged so as
to be easily refilled with grease and wicks replaced, Opposite the
wick part a handle of thin three-fourths inch iron, six inches long
was fastened firmly, straight up from the bottom — the top end had
a small hole in it in which a piece of wire or a nail was fastened
that could be stuck in a hole or crack in the log cabin wall. This
little lamp was cheap, serviceable, and handy to carry around.
A cold-lard lamp was patented by Stonsefer, August 8, 1854. It
consisted of a tin, pan-like base six and one-half inches in diame-
ter on the center of which was soldered a tin cylinder two and one-
fourth inches in diameter and four and one-fourth inches high. A
screw one-fourth inch in diameter and five inches long with a
coarse spiral thread was fastened firmly to the base in the center
of the cylinder by a swivel. A follower with leather washer that
fit snugly in the cylinder and a screw tap in the center of it to fit
the screw thread. A tin cover for the top of cylinder with hole in
the center for end of screw which was square, and had a cast-iron
thumb piece to turn the screw to move the follower up or down in
the cylinder. A three-fourths inch opening was made in the cylin-
der at the base, where a tin tube two and one-half inches higher
than the cylinder and 1x2 inches at the top was soldered; a cap
with an air hole in it was soldered on in which was cut a slot IxJ
inch, and a piece of tin twelve inches long was doubled in the cen-
ter to hold the wick and put to nearly the bottom of the tube. The
tin wick-holder was one-eighth inch higher than the tube. To the
side of the cylinder opposite of the tube a tin handle was soldered,
which completed the lamp. To use it a wick was put in place and
the follower in the cylinder was removed and clean lard put in the
cylinder, the follower replaced, and the lard forced up in the wick
tube with the thumb piece on the screw and kept the right height.
Many persons could read, study or sew by it as it gave a light
equal to the first coal oil lamps, but it took more care to keep it in
order. Jabez H. Newsom was agent of whom father bought ours.
Then came petroleum or coal oil of which at first many small
bottles were sold as "Rock Oil from Canada" at twenty-five cents
each as a liniment to relieve pains and affliclions in man and
beast. George E. Hunnicutt, a school teacher and farmer west of
Walnut Ridge, was the first that I knew of using a coal-oil lamp.
Peaches were very abundant in early times— all were white seed-
lings, some of very fine quality, especially the Free-stones— I know
of none now so sweet and good. There was no market for them.
Sufficient was dried for home use. and there was some demand for
them, but nothing was known of the canning business. Often
many bushels of peaches were fed to hogs or allowed to rot on
Apples were not so plentiful, mostly seedlings of inferior quality
and no market for even the best. I have sold fine Summer Queens
at 10 cents per bushel, and drove all over town to dispose of a few
bushels. Generally grafted varieties were Vandevere Pippin, R. I.
Greening, Yellow Bellflower. Rambo. Never Fail. American Golden
Russet, Pennock, Winesap and Roman Stem. Vandevere Pippin
was the leading variety all over Indiana and a favorite for "Apple
There was an orchard of seventy or eighty bearing trees on the
farm when father bought it. All were seedlings except about a
dozen trees. The seedlings were mostly sour and of poor quality,
and were made into cider and vinegar, or fed to stock. Sweet
apple cider was boiled three barrels to one or less, and thickened
with other apples, making "apple butter." Sometimes the boiled
cider was thickened with pumpkin, making ''pumpkin apple but-
ter," a very satisfactory change to go with "corn dodgers" and
bacon. Apples were dried and there was some market for them.
Not much effort made "to keep" apples for winter use— a few peo-
ple had cellars and others keep them in "hills" like some keep po-
tatoes. Wormy apples were unknown— no coddling moths then;
so all that was necessary was to plant the trees, protect from stock,
and gather the fruit. My father could graft, so "worked over"
some of the seedlings; as he did not know how to make "grafting
wax." ha used a bill of prepared clay, and wrapped with cloth and
tied on. Some "Yankee Grafters" came along one spring and
father employed them to graft a few trees. They used "grafting
wax," and most of the grafts grew, and bore fruit; several of the
grafts proved to be pears and bore several times of rather large
size and of fairly good quality, but the union of the graft with the
apple tree was not perfect and they died — the apples proved worth-
less. So the first pears I ever ate grew on an apple tree.
There were a few Damson plums — many wild ones of little value.
Some Cherries of sour varieties.
There were wild Black-berries and Raspberries, a few cultivat-
ed Currants and Goose-berries, wild Straw-berries almost worth-
less, so small.
Elias Henley brought a wild Grape from N. C, when he came—
it was moderately good for pies and was distributed. Our native
wild grapes were small and worthless, but the vines often grew
very large on "bottom lands." I have seen them twelve inches
in diameter, and held at least half that size up fifty or sixty feet,
where they branched off on the tops of several close by trees,
eighty to one hundred feet high, and thus held the long, heavy
vine nearly perpendicular. Mary Phelps (wife of Jonathan Phelps,
sister of Thomas W. Henley), had the only "Lame grape" here
then, a variety called Isabella, which we have yet.
Cider Mills and Cider Making.
(The measurements are approximately correct as I Rive them from memory. )
When we lived on the brow of the hill I can just remember see-
ing near our house, logs and poles, that had been used for a cider
press, probably made by Tharps before father bought the farm.
It was a kind of lever press. The apples were pounded or crushed
with a wooden pestle or maul, and the cider pressed out in some
way with those logs.
Some years later my father made a large cider mill and press.
The mill had wooden rollers about twelve inches in diameter and
eighteen inches long, with large, wooden journals on each end, and
one journal was three feet longer than the others and made square
several inches down from the end. The rollers had large groves
cut in them exactly alike, and they fitted into each other like big
cog-wheels. They were placed on a stout frame five or six feet
high, with the journals fastened firmly in the frame so that the
cogs of the rollers would work snugly in each other, and were per-
pendicular, with the long journal up. The short journaled roller
was adjusted with wooden wedges so it could be kept the desired
closeness to the other. A crooked pole of suitable shape and
length was found to make the so called "sweep" to pass over a
man's head, when working about the mill, and the small end of
which came near enough the ground to which to hitch a horse. A
square hole was made at the center of gravity of the "sweep" to
fit on the square end of the long roller, and was placed and fastened
in this position. A light pole of proper length was fastened to the
"sweep" to which to tie the horse's bridle, so he would walk in a
circle around the mill. A "hopper" to put apples in was fitted to
and fastened on the front part of the mill, so they fell into the
cog:s of the rollers as they turned around. A five or six barrel pop-
lar trough was placed under the rollers to catch the pomace and
cider. If the apples were mellow the pomace stuck to the rollers
and made it necessary to scrape it off at the back part of the mill
with a paddle. This was a job that often went "a begging" of
The "cider press" was erected close to the mill, so the horse had
space in going his rounds grinding the apples to pass between it
and the pomace trough. A two foot oak post ten feet long with an
8x10 inch mortise at the ground was set firmly, and a good piece
of split oak eight feet long extending equally each side of the post
was fitted in this mortise. Another mortise 4x18 inches four feet
higher up was made in the post for the tenon of the big beam or
lever to work in. Four heavy oak timbers were placed one end
of each on the split oak cross-piece in the post, and the other ends
on the ground extending in the direction the "beam" was to be,
and then on these four or five other good sawed timbers were
placed, and then a good six foot square platform of sawed poplar
made of two wide four inch boards fitted together. A circular,
concave groove three inches wide and about two inches deep was
made in the platform all around near the edge, with an opening
and tin spout on one side to run the cider into a tub. A Hickory
Elm "beam" thirty feet long and two feet in diameter had a tenon
on it to fit closely in the 4x18 inch mortise in the post. Father
made a Black Gum. wooden screw. the first ever made here, for the
other erd of the "beam." It was twelve feet long and six irches
in diameter, eight feet of which had an inch thread cut on it. A
large perpendicular hole \\ as made near the end of the "beam,"
and the large, wooden bur or tap for the screw was fastened there.
The screw, which had an iron point that fitted in a hole in a stone
on the ground was set up with the upper end in the wooden bur,
which was fastened to the underside of the "beam," so the screw
ould pass through the hole in the "beam." and the iron point in
place on the rock. Two 3x4 inch mortises were cut at right angles
to each other in the screw three feet from the ground, and two
twelve foot levers were put half-way through, making four arms
with which to turn the screw to raise or lower the "beam."
Boards were put on these arms so that stone might be put close
around the screw to add more weight if desired. Two heavy guide
posts were fixed firmly on each side of the "beam" so it could not
fall; and the "beam" raised to the top of the screw.
After the apples had been ground a four foot square hoop made
of boards 1x6 inches was placed on the platform inside of the
groove. Then some clean, wheat straw, which had been prepared
previously for the cider press by holding the heads of some bound
bundles of wheat in a threshing machine until the wheat was
thrashed out, then pulling them back, was dampened and placed
thickly on the hoop, so that one-half of the length of the straw
was inside the hoop and the other half left out. The hoop was
then filled with pomace and the outer ends of the straw bent over
the center, and a little pomace put on them to hold them in place.
The hoop was raised up, and two sticks of suitable length were
placed on the edges on opposite sides of this first "cheese" to hold
up the hoop so as to make another "cheese" in the same manner
as the first, and continued until all the pomace in the trough was
on the press, sometimes five or six "cheeses." Wide, thick boards
ware put on the pile of "cheeses," and heavy square timbers of
suitable length to reach across them, and a heavier block on those
until built up to the "beam" and the screw was turned to let the
weight on. This arrangement pressed the pomace comparatively
dry, but not as completely as the hydraulic press now used. An
improvement was soon made by using clean coffee sacks instead of
straw to form the "cheeses." On hot days bees and yellow jack-
ets were a terror to the cider maker for they swarmed about the
press to get the cider.
As many young orchards came into bearing, and there being no
other cider mill and press near, much cider was made here. Each
customer did practically all the work, and paid father ten cents
per barrel for the use of the mill and press. It was a slow process,
and the most I remember being made in one day was ten barrels
by Dayton Holloway's boys and help.
In those days everybody drank sweet cider, and some drank
"hard cider." It was the only source of good vinegar, and much
"apple butter" and some "pumpkin apple butter" was made; brass
and copper kettles were used to boil the cider, and make it in, as
iron kettles made it very dark.
In course of time father's cider mill and press rotted down, and
were not rebuilt, but there were others built in the neighborhood.
Samuel Stinger one mile east of Carthage had a good one. The
mill was a great improvement over father's. It was a small wood-
en cylinder filled with spikes somewhat after the plan of an old
"chaff piler" thresher without the concave teeth. The cylinder
had a pulley for a belt, and was run by a light threshing machine
horsepower with leather belt to the pulley. The apples were fed
in a hopper on the top of the cylinder, which run at high speed,
and with its spikes cut the apples into very fine pomace, and the
cider was more easily pressed out. Stinger's press was practically
the same as father's.
The "sawed stuff " referred to in this article was sawed on a
"water-power sash saw-mill" at Carthage.
Spiceland Quarterly Meeting of Friends.
It used to be held alternately at Spiceland in Henry county, and
Walnut Ridge in Rush county. In the third aud ninth months at
Spiceland, and twelfth and sixth months at Walnut Ridge.
The hospitality of the Friends on these occasions was very noted,
and at times most remarkable, particularly so if the weather was
fine at the time in sixth and ninth months. There were only a few
riding carriages, so most of the youag Friends, and some of the
older ones would go on horse-back. We might expect a big crowd
at sixth month Quarterly here at Walnut Ridge.and then we would
return the compliment so to speak in ninth month at Spiceland.
The custom was to go to Q larterly Meeting seventh day morning
and return first day evening, and in the meantime receive free en-
tertainment somewhere, which was often left to the entertained,
on whom he or they should call, though invitations were freely ex-
tended and all were welcome that could be accommodated; some-
times the house floor was almost covered with "pallets" for the
night lodgers. I remember one such cccasicn when forty persons
came to father's for the seventh day night lodging; a large num-
ber stayed, but several went to other places. There were no
butcher shops then where fresh meats might be obtained, so fath-
er and many others would often dress a pig era mutton for the oc-
casion, and chickens and turkeys were always on the bill of fare.
These occasions were means of cementing the Society together, as
well as extending individual acquaintances and in cultivating true
Friends' principles and doctrine by the Preachers always in at-
tendance. It also showed the earnest attachment to Friends' prin-
ciples, and they would endure hardships to attend distant meetings
not to be thought of now, by even women riding horse-back to
Spiceland Quarterly Meeting and frequently to Yearly Meeting at
Richmond from here.
All preachers then had some occupation on which to depend for
a living. I used to often see and hear the following Quaker preach-
ers at our Quarterly Monthly and other meetings as well as many
of them in family visiting: Jeremiah Hubbard of Richmond, In-
diana. His son Richard Hubbard of Raysville. Indiana, and his
son Charles S. Hubbard, school teacher and merchant of Raysville,
Indiana. Jeremiah Hubbard had a scientific turn and made wheel
barometers— John Clark owned one. Daniel Williams of near Cen-
terville, Indiana, loved flowers; grew "johnny-jump-ups" (pansies)
and had a park with deer and peafowls in it. He looked through
father's book-shelf once, said he was looking for a novel (not to
read but to see if one were there.) Novels were under the Quaker
ban in that day. Calvin Wasson, farmer of near Plainfield, Indi-
ana, made droll comparisons in his preaching that would always
clinch his remarks. Eleazer Bales of Plainfield, Indiana, a very
lovable preacher. William Haughton of Raysville, Indiana, was a
noted school teacher in the Knightstown high school many years.
Asenath H. Clark of North Carolina, and later of Westfield, Indiana.
Her son Nathan H. Clark, N. C, a farmer. Nathan and Abigail
Hoag, Vt., died at Daniel Clark's and were buried at Carthage.
William G. Johnson, North Carolina. Anna Hobbs, Spiceland, In-
diana. Anna Jane Porch, Spiceland, Indiana. Amos Kenworthy.
Spiceland, Indiana. Anna Thornburg of Walnut Ridge made two
ministerial trips in a two-horse carriage to North Carolina, and
several carriage trips in winter time in Indiana and Ohio. I re-
member the occasion, but not the date of Anna Thornburg and her
mother, Hannah Willis, being at father's one winter, and of Han-
nah telling of times in North Carolina before the battle of Guilford
Court House of the Revolutionary War. She was a young girl, and
with a sister had been permitted to pass through the British lines
to attend the regular Friends' meeting at New Garden. On re-
turning, a nice, new "bandana" silk handkerchief was seen lying
on the road, her sister picked it up. "Now suppose that has
smallpox in it" remarked Hannah — it was thrown down, but in
due time they took the smallpox. Their father had it severely.
When at his worst, just before the battle a British officer rode up
to the house, and demanded a "bed cord" to make "halters" for
their horses. Hearing him their father said "open the door," I'll
give him a bed cord," as he appeared in view, broken out with
smallpox, the officer (uttering oaths) laid whip to his horse, and
was not seen again. Mahlon Hockett, farmer, N. C, and later of
Pleasant View, three miles northwest of Carthage. Sarah Jane
Hill of N. C. later of Carthage. Indiana. Jared Patterson, farm-
er of Walnut Ridge. William Binford, farmer, near Carthage.
David Marshill, teacher at Friends' Bearding School. N. C. later
a dentist and silversmith at Carthage, Indiana. Keturah Miles,
Carthage. Indiana. Francis W. Thomas, farmer, near Dublin, In-
diana. Henry C. Aydelott, lived in Carthage many years, present
address Fall River, Mass. Caleb Johnson, merchant. Spiceland,
Indiana. Daniel Clark. Carthage, Indiana. Jared P. Binford.
farmer, Carthage. Indiana. Hezekiah Clark, Carthage, Indiana.
Rhoda M. Hare, Whittier, California. Mary N. Henley. Carthage,
Indiana. Edward C. Young, Carthage, Indiana, Numerous other
Q laker preachers called at Carthage as they were moved by the
spirit or the way opened for service.
The first school I attended was at the Friends' frame school
house on the Abraham Small farm, about eighty rods south of the
dwelling house, and less than one-half mile east of our house.
George Gipson (N. C.) Jabez Henley (N. C.) George E. Hun-
nicutt, William Johnson (Va.,) Joseph W. Young and others taught
many terms there. It was a subscription school as were all of the
Friends' schools then. Other children not Friends, also colored
children were allowed to attend by complying with the rules, and
paying equal share of tuition, etc. —there being no other school
near, the privilege was gladly accepted by many. One rule was to
attend Friends' "mid-week meetings" at Carthage on fifth days at
11 a. m. Scholars were arranged in twos according to their height,
and walked to the meeting house, the teacher bringing up the rear.
It was rather irksome of hot days, but was often done.
In time there were many more children in and around Carthage,
than were near the school house on the hill. So it was decided to
move the school house to town, which was done, when the ground
was frozen and covered with snow. A straight heavy pole a little
longer than the house was fastened to the sills on each side of the
house, and the north end of each one was beveled like a sled run-
ner. Then with twelve yoke of oxen, six on each side, the house
was palled north on these "skids" (poles) to the top of the hill,
where men with "hand spikes" managed to slide it down to level
ground, where the oxen were hitched on again, and pulled it
through fields and woodland to near where Murray Moore's brick
house now stands. It required two days to move and place it.
This same old school house was later moved up town, and is
now occupied by Eva Johnson's millinery store.
A larger frame school house was built on the lot from which the
old one was moved, where I and many young Friends about the
same age completed our education. Some of the teachers had at-
tended Friends' Boarding School (Earlham College) and brought
with them new ideas and methods much to the betterment and im-
provement of our school. Among others Evan Lewis Johnson
made quite a change in "training the young idea how to shoot."
Hiram Hadley from Ohio, now of Mesilla Park, New Mexico, by
his energy accomplished much, and won the esteem of all. He in-
troduced Stoddard's Mental Arithmetic, which was superior to any
then in use. The frame building was superseded by a brick school
house now Murray Moore's residence. Later the Friends' school
lost its identity, being merged with the Carthage Graded Schools.
The "three R's— Reading. Ritingand Rithmetic" was about the
limit for a complete education, though some branched off into the
so called "Dead Languages", etc. The McGuffey's series of read-
ers was used in practically all subscription and public (State)
schools; and the sterling moral worth of the sentiments and lessons
to be gained from nearly all the articles in them were of a very
ennobling and elevating nature, and their influence for the good
and betterment of mankind cannot be estimated, ard it will go on
and on through the generations to come. Good spelling was ex-
pected, the old "elementary spelling book" was known "by heart"
and "spelling bees" were common. Good penmanship was a great-
ly desired accomplishment. Goose-quill pens were used, and the
teacher was expected to make and mend pens for the scholars, and
also teach them how. School was to bs eight hours five days of
the week, and no holidays, and the custom was for all to walk to
school. On the school house grounds were many large trees.
Sugar, Beech, etc., and the boys had to cut and split these into
stove wood to burn in the stoves of the school house, and had to be
their own janitors— the larger boys usually taking it by turns, a
week at a time.
About eighty years ago near the school house on the Small farm,
Nathan Small felled a large Poplar tree for a raccoon, since then a
walnut by some means got inside the poplar stump, and it grew to
be a tree by 1906 more than fifty feet high and eight and one-half
feet in circumference just above the top of the stump, which was
burst asunder, one cleft on the west being twelve inches, another
to the east six inches wide; the stump with all the bark and sap-
wood decayed measured thirteen feet in circumference two and
one-half feet from the ground. In 1908. the present owner of the
farm, John V. Beason sold the walnut tree. The large, hollow,
popular log: was used by George E. Hunnicutt as a prison for un-
ruly boys— one boy saw a black snake crawl out, and afterwards
it was a terror to the scholars. Two or three rods from the school
house was a never-failing spring, that furnished water for the
Aunt Judith Henley, uncle Elias Henley's second wife, used to
teach a small school for girls in the second story of a spring-house
nearly opposite the late T. Benton Henley residence. I can just
remember of some of my sisters attending her school. When the
house was taken down a few years ago, several "quill pens" were
found in the walls.
The Latch Siring.
The universal custom in early times was to have a large, wooden
latch to the house door on the inside, and made so strong and se-
cure it was impossible to open it from the outside, except by the
stout string, that passed through a hole to the outside by which
the latch was easily raised and the door opened. Of nights and
for enemies this "latch string" was always pulled inside, and
there was positively no admittance. Among the Quakers the pro-
verbial "latch string" was always out.
Quite a number of colored people came to Carthage and vicinity
in early limes, mostly from slave states and principally from N. C.
and Va. They generally came with white people and were "free
born" or had been "set free," but they had a hard time there hav-
ing to compete with slave labor, and were in dread of slavery as
some of their people had been "kidnapped" and sold to work in
the cotton fields "away down south" and never returned. Here
in anew country they had better opportunities to accumulate prop-
erty, and secure homes of their own. They paid taxes here, but
were not allowed to vote or send their children to the public schools.
They had a school of their own in the "Beech" northwest of
Carthage, where several children of the Jeffries, Watkins, Browns
and other families got a rude start in education. Wright Jeffries,
a very ambitious younp: colored man was a leader and teacher for
A log school house was built by some colored people and their
friends on the southwest part of Joseph W. Young's farm on the
"Beech Grove Road" now the "Arlington Pike," and Joseph W.
Young taught school for the colored children there for a number of
years without much remuneration, and afterwards it was taught
by Hezekiah Clark and also John Street, a young Friend, for a
At the Friends' subscription school at Carthage, where my edu-
cation was obtained there were not many terms but that there
were some and often several colored children in attendance. The
tuition when not paid by the parents was by benevolent persons.
So in that early day seventy or more years ago they were striving
as best they could for educational attainments.
The log school house situated on the Young farm was used also
many years for a colored people's Sabbath School, and for temper-
ance meetings. The speakers were usually colored. There was
some rather remarkable eloquence delivered there. On one oc-
casion when I was there "Uncle" Tommy Winborn while not a
drunkard, but took an occasional dram, closed his speech with the
declaration that he "would never take another drop of liquor un-
less it was subscribed by a physicianer." I do not know but that
he kept his pledge. His brother Bennett Winborn also made tem-
perance speeches, and it was said of Reddick Brooks that if he had
a good dram he could then make a fine temperance speech.
Turner Newsom and family came from North Carolina. He told
me that he had Slh cents in money when he came, and that was
borrowed. English money, pounds, shillings and pence was in use
here then, so he could have that amount. He also said that Rix
Brown, who came the same time told him if he (Brown) could not
get 50 cents per day he would not work. Turner replied that he
would work for 25 cents per day or anything he could get. When
Turner Newsom died he owned 160 acres of land, a good, two story
frame house, a good barn and other buildings;; had a two-horse
carriage, several horses, cattle and hogs, raised wheat, corn, hay,
etc. Thus he and his large family were comfortably fixed, while
Rix Brown never owned a home, and continued through life a day
Emsley Lassiter a young, free colored man came from N. C.
with my father and family and others in 1832. He worked for
father on the farm many years. He was a good teamster, liked
horses, and in the winter he often used the big, four-horse covered
wagon father moved in here to haul flour, bacon, dried fruit, etc..
to Cincinnati for people here, and would return with merchandise,
and groceries, etc., for them. The roads then, in winter were often
in a terrible condition, simply awful, just mud,mr.d; and thaf'with-
out end or bottom." He drove six horses to the wagon, some of
them his own, add some father's or others; sometimes it would
take him two weeks or more to make the round trip. He married
one of Tommy Winborn's daughters, bought the Simeon Wiltse
(Mort Barber) farm, and succeeded well at farming, and stock
raising for a time, sold out and bought a large farm north of
Knightstown, but failed in payments, and lost nearly all. He had
a large family.
Farlow Lassiter. I think a cousin of Emsley Lassiter. was a good
shoe-maker, lived on the Jesse Lassiter and then the Abraham
"Uncle Dave Mose." David Winslow, came from N. C. in 1833
or 1834. He and his familv came in his own little, covered one-
horse wagon with Samuel Charles and others to Richmond, Indiana.
He was a free man raised in the neighborhood, where father and
the Henleys lived in N. C, and so wanted to come to Carthage so
as to be among his former friends. He was given minute instruct-
ions of the directions and roads, and that after passing through
the little village of Raysville and come to Blue River he was "to
take down it," sure enough he did "take down it" right in the
middle of the stream. The river was low, and someone saw him,
and soon had him on solid ground so he could come to Carthage by
land instead of water. But really it was not to be wondered at af-
ter traveling the mountain roads of Virginia and Kentucky to In-
diana, and the roads here were merely paths. He lived on father's
and Thomas Henley's farms several years, then he bought ten
acres of the John Earnest farm, and had a home there until his
death. He was the greatest natural mimic I ever knew. He could
mimic people, animals, birds or anything from a cow-bell to a rail
road train, and he was always making sport for the boys at log
rollings, wheat threshings, and all gatherings where he was.
Edmund Gary came to this country probably with some of the
Binfords from Virginia, and lived in the Walnut Ridge settlement.
He belonged to the Society of Friends there, and often spoke in
meeting. One of his oft repeated sayings was that, "every tub
should stand on its bottom and a tub wha's got no bottom is no tub
Tom Johnson, colored, a fairly good carpenter built a dwelling
house about 14x14 of six inch straight black ash poles and also a
stable on the John Winslow 80 acres before father bought it. The
house was connected with an old log kitchen previously built, by
extending the roof and floor (unenclosed) seven and one-half feet
to it; the other end of the house had a "fire-place" with an outside
mud and stick chimney. The Johnson family lived there a num-
ber of years, and worked some at his trade and did other work for
father and others. The house was moved near our home many
years ago, and used for a chicken house, corn crib, etc., and is in
"General" Tootle lived in the "Beech" and was a leader and
preacher in their Methodist church. He made fine hominy by beat-
ing white corn in a wooden mortar with an iron wedge fastened
firmly with an iron band on one end of a split, wooden handle. He
disposed readily of the hominy at Carthage and other nearby towns.
John Roberts Sr.. bought two acres of land of Henry Henley,
north of Carthage, and built a log house on it, and the family
lived there during his and his wife's lifetime. They were hard
workers, and made a comfortable living. One day when chopping
wood near the house he hollowed to his wife, "Betsy, you put
another piece of pork in that pot (for dinner) this sugar (tree) jars
me." He rented small pieces of ground to grow corn on the shares
and one year had a few acres of Robert Henley. One day I was
plowing in our "hog lot" near where John and his son Dolphin
were plowing their corn; a hot day and corn tender and easily
broken and the boy, plow and horses were slaying it in turning at
the ends of the row. John hollowed out, "Dolphin, you take dat
mare and go right 'long home, I'se not a goin' to have my corn
broke down in dat direction." Dolphin obeyed, rather willingly
I thought. His son John Roberts, Jr., was an excellent, and the
only barber in Carthage for many years. His grand-daughter who
married Nerius Heathcock now lives on the old home place.
"Aunt" Pattie Waldron came from N. C. with many other col-
ored people. She was nearly white, had great enerery. resolution
and tact. On one occasion when she and her company were on the
road from N. C, some rough white men stooped them, and put
fence rails through the wagon wheels so they could not proceed
and demanded them to show their free papers. This all doubtless
with intent to take them back or rush them into slavery elsewhere.
"Aunt Pattie" understood the situation at once, and assumed com-
mand; she told the men that she was boss of that company; they
were under her care to take to Indiana. She directed the colored
men to take the rails from the wae:on wheels and drive on, which
they did and were not molested again. The men thought she was
a white woman, and this and her tact saved them. Her relatives
told of this incident but I remember her well in my youth, and
that she had a great reputation as a "pound cake" maker for wed-
dings and other notable occasions.
There were several other colored families around here but I nev-
er knew their history.
Under Ground Rail Road.
During slavery times many runaway slaves passed through Carth-
age on the so called "Under Ground Rail Road" on their way to
Canada, where they recaived governmental protection, and were
never returned to their masters. In 1850 Congress passed the
"Fugitive Slave Law," which gave authority to arrest and return
slaves to their masters from any state in the Union. Any person
who harbored, fed or clothed or in any way aided a runaway slave
was liable to a fine of $100 of which $50 went to the informant.
In 1841 my father bought 80 acres of land of John Winslow, now
the south part of our farm. There were two log dwelling houses
and a log stible on it, th3 twj houses were connected by an open
log shed and occupied by Tom Johnson and family (colored.) They
moved away and a family namad Scott came in a little one-horse
wagon and moved into the vacant house. The husband, and wife
and four children, all nearly white, said they were runaway slaves
from Spartenburg, S. C. They stayed two or three years, and we
used to go and play with the children, and whenever my little
brother Daniel (two or three years old) went with us Scott would
pat him on the head and greet him thus: "My little Quaker, thee,
t'lou, though." He made little baskets with colored and plain
splits that were greatly admired by us children. He was an expert
with a hoe— had learned "the trade" in the cotton fields. He
would quickly "scutch" the weeds and grass off all around a hill
of corn— then all corn was planted in hills — and pull up by hand
those remaining, loosen the soil or "hill it up" as desired. His
services were in demand as all farmers did more or less corn hoe-
ing for the little "bull-tongue" and small "bar-share" plows were
poor weed killers. He used the first "clod-fender" I ever saw, to
keep the plow from covering the little corn. It was composed of
two parts— one part a foot wide, wooden paddle with a good han-
die, the other part a quick, active boy. In use the boy held the
paddle by the hill of corn till the plow passed it, then quick as a
flash boy and paddle were at the next corn hill, and so on until the
field was plowed. The boy did not see many of the birds that
flew over the field while using the paddle, and the exercise was
equal to a modern "ball game" for health. But I do not know
what became of the family.
For a few years befor the Civil Wnr the "under ground rail road"
was patronized very frequently through here by those mostly from
Kentucky and Tennessee. There were several men in Carthage
who sympathized with the South, and who were ever watching
and ready to inform against any who aided a runaway, so that any
assistance given had to be managed with care and secrecy. There
was a "station" at Rushville managed by "Agent" Burns (col-
ored,) who would bring slaves to Carthage after night, and they
were kept secreted until the next night, when an "Agent" here
Elisha B. White or Jim Hunt (colored) would take them to another
station, the Jessup neighborhood four miles north of Knightstovv'n,
where they were hidden in day time and at night taken on to the
next station north, and then on to Newport (Fountain City now.)
where the "president of the under ground rail road" lived— a
staunch friend of the slave, Levi Coffin. From, there they were
"shipped" on to Canada, sometimes taking several days and much
risk. One Sabbath day in the summer of 1855 there were twelve
"runaways" hidden all day in our sugar orchard, it being a dense
thicket then. I was recovering from typhoid fever and did not
get to see them, but some of my sisters visited them; they consist-
ed of a family, some children, and the rest grown slaves that had
determined to be free. They were all "shipped" on north, and
doubtless got through safe, as we did not hear from them again.
Ssmetime after that one evening, nearly night I was returning
from my sister Melly Jessup's north of Knightstown. and met Jim
Hunt north of Carthage with two noble looking men in a buggy
that he was taking to the next station. He was more venturesome
with them than some, and seemed not to fear being molested. I
do not remember seeing any other runaways on the road.
Slaves were very valuable property in the South, a good one
either man or woman would sell for $l,OOO.and if religious or moral
these qualities would be an asset, that would add to their money
value. Taair misters and others would follow them nearly to Can-
ada, but rarely captured any. One woman slave with a two-year-
old child in her arms was pursued to the Ohio river by her master.
The river had been frozen over, but then the ice was broken up in-
to large pieces, yet she ventured on and by stepping from piece to
piece got across safely, though she and the child were very wet
with the icy water. A man on this side at Ripley, Ohio, helped
them out, and instructed them where to go to be safe and get dry
clothing. The master feared to cross the river, and soon they were
at Levi Coffin's house at Newport, where after resting they were
"shipped" to Canada. This incident is said to be the real founda-
tion of "Uncle Tom's Cabin. " There were two or three routes
from the Ohio River to Newport. Seventeen fugitives who arrived
there atone time and valued at $17,000, were pursued by fifeen
slave hunters, who shot at some of them and wounded two, but
not seriously. These hunters made their headquarters at Rich-
mond, Indiana, where they had many sympathizers, and scoured the
country for miles around, but failed to capture their slaves. These
men said Coffin must have an uilder ground rail road from his
house to Canada and was president of it--hence the term "Levi
Coffin, president of the under ground railroad." He estimated
that he assisted one hundred fugitives on their way to Canada
every year of the twenty years he lived at Newport. I have these
facts from his "reminiscences."
Sixty or seventy years ago the public roads here, especially of
wet seasons were much of the time almost impassable for a loaded
wagon. There was some grading done, but not a load of gravel
was put on, instead however in the worst places what was called
"corduroy roads" was made thus: — ten foot rails were made out of
good timber — oak or ash— split wide and laid close together across
the grade, and a little soil was thrown on the rails to level up and
hold them in place.
The road from Carthage south to the half-mile road was fully
half "corduroy read," and all over this county in swampy places
were many miles of it. Very bad "mud holes" were often filled
with green, beech limbs, with the leaves on them till more than
level with the road, and soil thrown on those and thus made passa-
ble for a time.
Rail Road from Knightstown to Shelbyville by Way of
Carthage and Morristown.
Business men of Knightstown, Carthage, Morristown and
Shelbyville and farmers along the right-a-way made it possible to
build it which was done in 1850. It and a railroad from Rushville
to Shelbyville built at the same time were the first railroads in
The grade about Carthage was made entirely by man power
with spades, shovels and wheel barrows. Southwest where some
hills were to cut through and fills to make, a few one-horse dump
carts were used. The track was made by first putting two "mud
sills" heavy, rough timbers, in trenches parallel with the grade,
and at the proper distance apart for the track. On these were
spiked the "cross-ties" every few feet apart, these were sawed
timber about six inches square with a 3x4 inch notch near each
end. at the proper distance apart to make ihe right gauge. Spikes
were driven through the "cross-ties," in the bottom of these
notches into the "mud sills" to hold the ties in place with the
notches up. Then long, sawed oak "stringers" 4x6 inches were
placed in these notches and wedged in their proper places with
wooden wedges. On these "stringers" the "flat iron bars" were
spiked; the iron was two and one-half inches wide and three-
fourths inch thick and dove-tailed together at the ends. Holes
were punched in the iron every eighteen inches and counter-sunk
to receive the heads of tha spikes, which were five inches long,
ixf mch square, with heads to fit cojnter-sank holes in bar. No
graveling or ballasting was done. The dimensions of timbers I
give entirely from guessing and memory over sixty years ago,
never having measured them. I have specimens of the iron and
spikes, and give correct measure of these.
The trains going over such tracks would loDsen the spikes, so
they would come out, and the ends of the bars would curve up and
the wheels of the return train would sometimes run under them
causing the curved bar to shoot up into the car— these were called
"snake heads. " I do not remember of hearing of such on our
road, but these were reported several times on the Rushville and
As there was no stock law then all kinds of stock had full and
free privilege on all public roads. This compelled the rail road
company to make "cow pits" at every outside farm fence. They
were made across the track at the fence line, about four feet wide
and four feet deep and timbered and boarded up.
This road, the track of which was of such slender construction,
gave out entirely in a little over four years. It was a great insti-
tution while it did last, and one mixed train (one passenger coach
and a few other cars) each way a day was the extent of business.
I well remember when the first locomotive came from Shelbyville
to Carthage to bring up iron bars for the track. It came on the
timbers without iron part of the way; it was late one evening the
last of September. They had steamed up strong and it seemed to
me they "tooted" the whistle about every two rods. One of my
sisters and I ran about eighty rods to the top of the hill from
where we could see the monster good. It sure raised the people
the country round, not anything like it had ever been heard here.
One maninthe"Beech," "Chub Jim"Roberts heard the whistle and
was so excited that he locked his family in his cabin, and taking
his gun hurried to his neighbor's, William Binford, to learn what
it was, and wanted the boys to go with him to shoot it. They told
him it was an "iron horse" and he could not kill it by shooting it.
and he became more excited than ever, but they finally explained
it to him, so he was pacified.
Henry B. Hill was president of the railroad, and his son William
Penn Hill was conductor.
A small, wood burning engine (no coal was used,) one passenger
coach, a few small box cars, and a few small flat cars constituted
the rolling stock of the road. One round trip a day was the usual
schedule with but little limit as to time. It required lots of cord
wood, and each station had its "wood yard," and sometimes many
cords were burned by sparks from the engine.
Two very bad accidents happened on the road. One, the blowing
up of an engine boiler, while running south of Morristown near
Corey's mill. The explosion was at the head of the engine, and
the engineer and fireman escaped miraculously. I have seen the
Walnut tree (30 or 40 feet high) that stands near the road bed,
that had its top torn off by a piece of the boiler. The other acci-
dent was about four miles southwest of Carthage. The mixed
train passed Carthage early in the morning and it was quite dark.
At the point referred to some cross ties were braced and pinned
solid to and across the track. It threw the engine off and down a
ten foot enbankment, wrecking it eompletely, and breaking the
fireman's leg. The coach turned on its side without much injury
to the few passengers, two of whom were our neighbors Zachariah
Small and his sister Martha Small. The head-light to the engme
was but little more than a lantern. The man or men who placed
the obstruction never were known, and no prosecution was ever
They ran excursions occasionally from Knightstown to Shelby-
ville, I recall especially one. They had the passenger coach and I
think fourteen or fifteen of the little open flat cars with plank
seats fixed temporarily on them. These were all filled with people,
men and women sitting as closely as they could— some said 1,500
people. It was an enormous load for the little engine.andat every
little up-grade the engine would "stall." The conductor would
kmdly ask those along the sides of the cars to step off and give the
train a boost. Practically all the men would hop off and push the
train up the hill, then all would clamber on, to repeat the perform-
ance at the next hill. When the train returned to Carthage, some
had imbibed too freely of booze, and there beirg some ill feeling
bstwean Knightstown and Carthage passengers a free-for-all fight
developed soon, that resulted in some bruised heads and limbs.
In 1858 an effort was made to rebuild the road with regular cross
ties and T rails. There was said to be enough culvert and Cow Pit
timbers and cross ties along the road bed to rebuild it, and I was
at Shelbyville the spring of 1859, and I saw a new bridge across
Blue River, and a mile or more of track "T rail" laid up this way,
and some forty men laying track, and it was said they would soon
b8 at Carthage. But in a short time that bridge was removed
somewhere else, the track torn up and taken away, many of the
timbers rotted along the road and all we have of it to this day is
the "old road bed."
In the early 40's there were a Rreat many hogs raised about here,
but none could be sold until early fall or during- winter, as there
were no "ice plants" or "cold storage" arrangements in which to
keep the meat. Practically all were driven to Cincinnati in large
droves, often 2,000 or 3.000 hogs in a drove, requiring ten days or
two or three weeks according to the condition of the roads.
To weigh them, they were put in pens arranged for convenient
work. One hog was caught at a time, and put into a pair of
breeching of an old style harness, with steel-yards hooked into the
big rings, and a lever attached to the steel-yards to hoist the hog
to be weighed. It was slow, hard work and many times whole
droves were "guessed off" without weighing. Later a Coop was
made which would ' old five or six hogs at a time and were all
weighed at once, this was a great improvement.
A good wagon and team was always taken with the drove to haul
such as might "give out" on the road. A drove would extend
quite a distance, the best travelers in front, which sometimes had
to be held back, and the slow travelers and heavies in the rear, with
a man at intervals to keep them in bunches. The hogs we have
now could not endure such traveling. There was much of the
"razor-back" and "elm peeler" blood in the stock of that day.
Some were dangerous, wild fellows, and could travel "like a race
horse." The "elm peeler" was here sure enough; I have seen
many Slippery Elm trees with the bark peeled off and eaten, as
high as the hogs could reach, of course that indicated a scarcity
It was seldom that there was a sick hog; no "hog cholera" then.
I remember the time, but not the date, when "hog cholera" made
its first appearance in this country, that is several papers so stated.
It was somewhere in the East at a whiskey distillery. A large
number of hogs were being fattened on distillery slops and they
took the disease or developed it, and it spread from there all over
the United States and has not been stamped out yet.
I carried water from the spring: near by, to the six acre wheat
field for six or eight men, who cut that wheat with "reap-hooks"
in one day. A wind had blown the wheat to the east or northeast
so that it was difficult to save it with a "scythe and cradle," and
there were but few men then who could use a "reap-hook." Fath-
er hired Jacob Siler, Jacob Raddick, John Reddick, George Wells,
John Earnest, Jonathan Phelps and one or two other men, all of
whom could cut wheat with "reap hooks." They would cut a
swath four or five feet wide across the field, and place the wheat
in bunches, then each man would put his "reap-hook" on his
shoulder, and go back across the field'*binding"his row of bunches
into sheaves, and continue to work in this manner until all was
cut; father followed them and shocked the wheat. A few years
previous "reap-hooks" were in general use.
Practically all the old, frame barns here have a "treading
floor" 24x24 feet in the center of the buildmg. including part of
the drive way. These floors were laid double of fine, undressed
poplar, and "pinned" to the big log sleepers with one inch oak
pins — big nails (spikes) were not plentiful then. Many of the
present owners of these barns have no idea of the use of these
floors then or why they were made, but they were a necessity.
Wheat was cut mostly with a "scythe and cradle," my father
made "cradles" and "snaths" for scythes. A "cradle" was a
light, wooden frame work attached (fastened) to the "snath," the
long cutting blade with five wooden fingers nearly as long as the
blade to catch the grain as it was cut off with a long sweeping
stroke, and thrown in a swath to the left hand. Then it was
"bound" into sheaves with a small handful of the wheat for bands
by another man— there was a "know how" to tie the bundle se-
curely and rapidly by the process known as "binding over the
thumb," which is about obsolete now. Wheat was "shocked" ten
"bundles" (sheaves) firmly "set up" and two sheaves "broke" in
the middle and put on for "caps." When dry enough the wheat
was stored in the sheaf in the mows of the barns, to be "trodden"
out later, usually early winter. Hay was stacked out mostly to le
hauled in the barn as needed or when there was room for it.
When the weather was rather cold and dry was the best time to
"tread out" wheat. The "treading floor" was cleaned off, swept,
and a circular layer of sheaves placed close together all around
with the heads toward the center, another layer was placed inside
of that with the heads against the heads of the outside row, and the
straw binds were cut. All the horses on the place were brought
in. and tied together in pairs, and driven around and around over
the "bed" of the wheat until the grains were all knocked out. The
straw had to be turned over occasionally while the horses were
going their rounds to facilitate the work. When done the horses
were taken out, the straw cleaned off, and wheat and chaff piled
up in the center of the "treading floor," and another "bed" put
down as was the first, and horses put on again. This process was
continued until the crop was all trodden out. Then the wheat and
chaff were run through a "fanning mill" twice to clean it ready
for the "flouring mill" or market. I think it took about one-half
a day to "tread out" a "bed," but varied according to the num-
ber of horses that could be put on. One time is all I recall of help-
ing at this work.
A great improvement came in the horse power "chaff piler"
threshing machine "ground hog thresher" some called them. The
"treading fljor" was generally used for them. The machine was
a cylinder with iron or steel spikes that run in a concave with sim-
ilar spikes at a rapid rate— it was run by a heavy horse-power iron-
geering, with levers to which to hitch four to eight horses that
walked in a circle. The sheaves of wheat with the bands cut were
fed through the cylinder part, and 200 or 300 bushels could be thus
threshed out in a day. Then the wheat had to be run twice through
a "fanning mill" to clean it from the chaff. Next came the
"horse-power separator" and then the "steam separator." My
father owned a *'chaff piler" machine and threshed his own and
many of his neighbor's wheat.
Flax was grown in "pioneer times" for the "lint" fiber, the
tough bark that grows on the stalk. It was sown in the spring,
and when the stalks were mature and the seed ripe, in order to
save all the lint, it was pulled up by hand and tied into bundles
using a few stalks for a band. It was then stored under shelter
until toward fall, when it was taken to a grassy place where no
stock was, and spread thinly in rows and left there several weeks
to "rot." That is, the woody part of the stalk would decay to
some extent, and become brittle without injury to the fiber, and
really was an advantage to the fiber as it was put in better con-
dition by being more easily split into fine threads. It was then
bound up again and kept dry until winter, then on cool, bright
days it was pounded with a "flax break"— a wooden, bench-like
machine having parallel bars on which a bunch of flax was placed,
and pounded with a heavy block on which were placed parallel
bars to correspond with the lower part. The flax was made as dry
as possible by placing it on a scaffold and a fire built under it. It
was then pounded until the woody part was broken up, and mostly
knocked out. It required a stout man to work a "flax break."
It was then "scutched" with a "scutching knife"— a two edged
paddle two feet long made of hard wood. A ten inch wide board
about four feet long, one end sharpened and the other square and
rounded; the sharp end was driven in the ground and a bunch of
"broken flax" was held over the end of the board with the left
hand, and scutched down with the scutching knife in the other
hand. This knocked out the remaining woody part.
It was then "hackled"— forty or fifty small sharp irons fastened
near one end of the board was a "hackle." The bunches of flax
were drawn over these sharp points many times and a lot of "tow"
was pulled out leaving nice handfuls of "flax" and this and the
"tow" were now ready for the spinning wheel.
After being spun into thread it was ready for the loom, where
it was woven into cloth. The spinning and weaving were done
entirely by the women folks. My father made the small "treadle"
or "flax wheels," and the "large spinning wheels" for wool, also
In 1855 there was a scourge of it here. My sister Mary was
teaching, four miles north of Knightstown at Union school house
in the Haddleson neighb:>rho3d, where there were many cases of
fever. She was taken with it, and had to remain at Wm. Huddle-
son's several months, before being able to come home. She was
treated by a Dr. Hill, a Hydropathist, took no medicine and event-
ually recovered with better health than before. Dr. Hill treated
a number of other cases there successfully. There was much pass-
ing back and forth to see and wait on Mary, and sister Melly.
mother, sister Phebe and I took it, but brothers William and Hen-
ry, and sister Penelope had it severest of all, and the three died
within three weeks. A few neighbors took the fever, and it was
several months before it was stamped out. Nearly all the cases
here were treated by Alopathic physicians, and calomel and other
strong medicines were used which later were thought to really ag-
gravate the disease.
The winter of 1862 I was in Indianapolis, and went into Stuart
and Rowen's book store. Tiiere I first saw Chromos— one that I
especially admired was of a duck and six or eight little ducks on a
card about ten inches by twelve inches. It looked to be perfection,
that one could just pick up a little duck in his hand. The price
was only $9.00. so I did not want it as badly as I at first thought.
Now there are just as fine chromos given away as advertisements.
My First Bananas.
I was more than thirty years old before I saw a banana. Re-
turning from North Carolina in the spring of 1869, I saw some at
Baltimore, Md., and bought a few at fiye cents each to bring home,
mainly on account of the novelty of the new fruit It was many
years after that before any were sold in Carthage, now tons are
sold here annually, and instead of being considered a luxury it is a
staple article of diet.
Molasses and Sugar Making.
The first settlers obtained their molasses and sugar from the
sugar maple trees. They made spouts of Elders for tapping the
trees, and with a chopping ax made wooden troughs, that held
three to six gallons to catch the sugar- water in. When the "seas-
on" was over these were turned bottom up by the trees, and would
last for several years' use. Of course leaves, trash and rubbish
would be blown or fall into them, which was thrown or strained
out of the sugar-water before boiling it, yet these things caused
the finished product to be quite dark. However, microbes, germs,
bacteria and all such lesser inhabitants were unknown then on this
"dirty earth." bugs, lice and worms were the limit of scientific
investigation. Later one or two gallon earthen ware or stone ware
crocks were used to catch the sugar-water in, but they were of
short duration, and so3n "machine-made," three gallon, white pine
buckets were universally used; were cleaner and were housed dur-
ing the long period, when not in use. A six to ten barrel, poplar
"store trough" was a necessity at the "furnace."
The fi'"sc boiling was done in iron kettles hung on a pole by a big
lopr, then "furnaces" were made. 1 remember helping to make
one for six, ten to twenty gallon iron kettles. A place was dug
out in clay ground some fifteen feet long, two feet wide and four
feet deep in the center, and slanting up at each end, much wider
at the bottom to give lots of space for wood, and the burned coal
and ashes. The kettles were set close together on the clay walls
with rims two inches higher than the walls, the larger kettles at
the front end of the "furnace" where the hottest of the fire would
be. To close the openings around the kettles, green Buckeye
limbs two inchas in diameter and three feet long were placed be-
tween the kettles on the walls and a small straight rail was staked
each side a few inches from the rims of the kettles. Mortar was
made of clay and a handful of short timothy hay thrown on it, and
worked with a hoe until a wad of hay and mortar was formed nearly
the size of a common bucket. This "cat" was placed between the
rails, and around the rims of the kettles— enough "cats" were made
to fill all the spaces snugly, and a little lower than the tops of the
kettles, and smoothed over nicely with a wooden paddle. Close to
the last little kettle, a flue was built a few feet high, the lower
part of stone and the upper of brick. After using a while the
"cats" dried out, and the kettles were held firmly in place, and
having a "clap-board" roof over it the "furnace" lasted a number
of years— about ten barrels of sugar-water could be boiled to
"syrup" in a day. Later the "furnace" was dug larger at the
sides and walled with large boulders (not limestone) and three-foot
pieces of flat bar rail road iron were put between the kettles and
made tight with "cats," which increased its capacity to hold heat.
The sugar-water was boiled in these kettles until it was a thin
"syrup." then to each barrel of sugar- water boiled down one or
two well beaten eggs were mixed with one-half gallon of sugar-
water; the "syrup" was stopped from boiling by adding a little
cold sugar-water, and the egpn mixture poured in and stirred
thoroughly, and then strained through a thick flannel sack into a
tub. Thus clarified it was taken to the big "kitchen fire place,"
where in a kettle on a "crane, "it was boiled to "molasses" or sug-
ar as desired. It took about forty gallons of the sugar-water to
make one gallon of thick "molasses." The sweetness of the sugar-
water varied of different years, as well as at different times the
The first pure, white sugar I remember was a piece of hard "loaf
sugar, " that came from Cincinnati, that mother kept for "sick-
ness." so the ordinary kid seldom got a lump of that sugar.
The original Hill and Henley firm in the early 40's bought eggs
in large quantities — some at two cents per dozen, and packed them
in barrels with shelled oats and shipped them to New Orleans. The
late John D. Hill was a member of the firm and had had exper-
ience on steam-boats on the Mississippi as carpenter and clerk on
some, and Captain on one, often made the trip with t e barrels, to
sell the eggs and oats, and return with large quantities of "cane
sugar" and "Orlean Molasses" which were sold out at their store
in Carthage. Th3 "cane sugar" was course grained, of a yellow-
ish color, and came in large"hog^h8ads. "each holding several hun-
dred v^ounds. Often a section of a large "cane stalk" was placed
in the center of the "hog^ihead." The "Orlean Molasses" was
quite dark with a strong taste, and came in barrels and half-bar-
rels. This made"sweetening"much more plentiful here.and much
more of it was used.
My uncle Tristram Coggeshall and family moved from North
Carolina in 1832, with my father and his family, and bought and
settled on the farm adjoining ours on the west. He had learned
the "tanner's trade" while a young man in N. C. , and about 1844
started a small tan-yard near his home.
The strong, never-failing spring, as it was then, on the hill-side
north of the house was conveyed in pole gutters northwest across
the road where Reu P. Henley's hog feeding lot is. There a few
"tan-vats" six feet long, four feet wide and four feet deep were
made even with the serface of the ground and water tight, of two
inch, sawed, oak boards. The number of "vats" was increased
as needed until there were twelve or more. One "vat" was used
to "lime the hides" in — to take off the hair; another "the pool"
was kept full of water to soak the lime from the hides after the
hair was off. The surplus water was kept running through "the
pool" when not needed elsewhere. When removed from "the
pool" the hides were dressed with a "currier's" knife on the flesh
side to even thickness, and the shavings and scraps were saved
and sent to a "glue factory." Then the dressed hides were ready
for the tanning process— a layer of ground tan-bark was placed in
the bottom of a "vat" and a hide spread over it, and if it were
longer than the "vat" a layer of ground tan bark was put on and
the hide doubled on it, and a layer of the ground tan-bark was
placed all over it, another hide was spread on this tan-bark and
treated as the first and continued thus until the"vat" was filled or
all the hides put in. then a heavy layer of ground tan-bark was put
on the top, and water was run in until the "vat" was full, and kept
so for six months with an occasional overhauling and repacking.
The hides were then removed and dressed, and blackened on the
"grain side" for shoe or harness leather as desired. They would
out- wear any of the quick "hot process" leather of to-day.
My uncle developed quite a business— bought hides in all the
country around, and also tanned for half the leather— one year clear-
ing over $1,000. He often tanned sheep skins with the wool on,
which were useful for many purposes, and many calfskins for fine
shoe and boot leather, and several deer skins and many dog skins
for string leather. His leather was too soft for good shoe- soles,
and some Spanish sole leather was hauled from Cindinnati to use
When a boy my cousin, the late Oliver W. Coggeshall, did much
of the bark grinding for the tan-yard, and I quote his description
of the mills used:— "This mill consisted of an up-right center post,
reaching from the floor to the ceiling of the large room; lo this the
post was geared (fastened) to a horizontal beam, some fifteen feet
long, which passed through an immense, wooden wheel about six
feet high and eighteen inches thick. This wheel was of White Oak
hewn out of two parts of the first cut of a large tree. Each half
of the cut formed one-half of the wheel. These were held togeth-
er by two large timbers on each side firmly pinned to the wheel.
On the outer end of this horizontal beam, which projected through
the wheel was a neck cut, and around this neck was bent a collar
of wood to which the horse was hitched by a single-tree. A pole
to which his bridle reins were fastened kept him in his endless cir-
cuit, while the bark was occasionally raked up in a row to keep it
under the huge wheel. When ground fine for tanning, it was put
into a cellar opening on the tan-yard, and a new supply of bark
was put in its place. Later on this big wheel was put aside for
a cast-iron mill, shapped somewhat like the old fashioned coffee
mill. It had a large hopper surrounding the upright center part,
which was fastened to the inside of the convex part of the mill.
To this upright part was fastened a long horizontal beam to which
the horse was hitched. The bark was broken over the iron edge
of the mill by a wooden mallet. The principle varieties of bark
used were:— Pin Oak, White Oak, Red Oak and Bur Oak. The
two latter kinds were hard to break, and very hard on the hands
of a small boy."
"The Big Woods."
"The Big Woods" a mile or two south of Carthage was a large
body of land of several hundred acres owned by different persons,
with scarcely a fence or road through it, and much large timber
on it— especially Bur Oak, and also White Oak, Gray Ash, Syca-
more, Water Elm, White Maple, Hickory, Swamp Ash, Red Oak.
Beech, etc. Sometimes in Autumn the ground would be complete-
ly covered with Bur Oak acorns, enough to keep many stock hogs
in good condition until Christmas or later. Black Walnut was not
plentiful in the "Big Woods" — it grew m the river bottoms and on
hilly land. On the drier ground in the "Big Woods" were many
Paw-paw bushes that bore annually, and some of the fruits w^ere
very large, or fine quality, being yellow meated, and were vi^ell
Often trees were from four to eight feet in diameter at the
ground, and one hundred feet high with long, straight bodies,
fine for "saw timber."
All farm fences were of the "old Virginia zig-zag worm" style;
rails ten and one-half feet long and usually ten rails high. It re-
quired much valuable timber to make and keep them in repair.
Many very fine White Oak, Blue Ash, Black Ash, Gray Ash and of-
ten Black Walnut were used; if a Bur Oak tree died it was almost
certain to be split into rails, although some fell on the ground and
rotted. I have split open many big Bur Oak "rail cuts" v/ith a
charge of gun-powder. A one and one-half inch auger hole was
bored in the middle of the"rail cut"to nearly one-half its diameter,
and one or two ounces of gun-powder put in it, with a "fuse" at-
tached and the hole filled with clay and gravel, and tamped good
to hold the charge in. When exploded, if it did not throw the
"rail cut" wide open, it would be cracked so that it could be easily
split into rails with the iron wedge, seasoned dog-wood and iron-
wood "gluts," and the heavy, wooden knot maul, which were kept
"on hand" for the purpose by all farmers.
I remember selling in 1872 or 1873 an old, giant Poplar. It was
hollow at the ground, and about six feet up, where it was cut down,
was seven feet in diameter. After cutting off several feet of the
hollow part, there were four 12-foot logs that brought $50.00 at
ninety cents per hundred feet. It made lumber of the finest yellow
grain. Some of those large Poplar and Oak logs had to be split
open with a charge of gun-powder in a way similar to the Bur Oak
"rail cuts" described, before they could be worked on the saw-
mills of that day. Those old yellow Poplars are about all gone,
and in recent years worms got into the Bur Oaks, so that most of
them had to be used or be lost.
A notable Bur Oak tree not as tall and large as some stood on the
southwest corner of our farm about 250 feet north of the east and
west public road, and three and one-half rods east of Charles
Young's farm. It was cut down thirty-five years ago, and sold at
sixty cents par hundred feet. It made four good 12-foot logs— the
first "cut" almost six feet in diameter being too large to be sawed
on the circular saw-mill at Carthage, was loaded on a big, four-
horse "log-wagon," and pulled to the road with a "snatch-block"
fastened to different trees, and then hauled by four horses to Rush-
ville. It was so heavy many of the wooden culverts crossed were
broken down. The other three "cuts" were hauled to Carthage.
The center of the Bur Oak stump has rotted, and a Water Elm
eight feet high and one and one-half inches in diameter is growing
in it. By careful exammation and measurements of the stump I
estimate the "annual rings of growth" to exceed 600. I judge
some of the larger Poplars, Sycamores and Oaks were about 1000
Many Linnwood grew both on the swamp land and dry land.
It is a noticeable fact that Bur Oak, Black Ash, Black Hickory
(bearing large nuts) Water Elm, and White Maple are always on
the wet, swampy land, while White Oak, Poplar, Gray Ash, Beech,
Buckeye, Black Gum, Shell-bark Hickory (bearing small nuts) are
always on the dryer ground. Often swamp varieties are only a
few rods away from those other varieties on the drier ground, but
how they arrange themselves in this manner nature students may
There is a traditional account of a tornado or great wind storm
many years ago, that caused trees t3 wave and shake so severely,
that it made what is known as "wind shaken" timber. A "wind
shake" is a circular crack inside the tree in its annual growth, but
not in every annual "ring," but in so many, that when sawed into
plank they fall to pieces. Not all, but many, apparently sound
Sycamore trees were affected thus from the ground nearly the
whole length of their bodies. The inside or heart wood of the
trees being so affected would be acted on by the air and water, and
would rot and leave a shell of green, sound wood on the outside.
Such trees often were made into large stock feed troughs, and
sections were sawed from them making "gums" in which wheat,
etc., could be stored. My father had three that he made from
a Sycamore tree in the "Big' Woods." They were some four feet
in diameter, and five feet high, with solid heads fitted in one end
for the bottom. The bodies of them were sound, and less than
three inches thick all around. They were of the same length and
held respectively twenty-six, tw^enty-four and twenty-two meas-
ured bushels of wheat. They did good service many years, and
were burned in 1913, when the barn was struck by lightning.
This same "Big Woods" was a good place to get lost— a crowd
of boys were in it with their dog one afternoon and got hopeless-
ly lost. Now, a dog cannot be lost, so they "drove him home"
and followed him, and he led them out of the wilderness by an en-
tirely different direction from what any of them had decided was
There were many wild Turkeys, and they were frequently shot
or trapped. I remember father and I caught six at one time on a
New Year's eve in an old, log stable on the south part of the farm
— the stable was baited with corn, and fitted with a trap door.
They weighed about twenty pounds each, were young and very
strong, ai}d I have never seen since such a beating and Happing of
wings as when I went in the stable to catch them. We sold a part
of them at $1.00 each, dressed— the meat was thought to be sweet-
er and better than that of tame kinds.
Pheasants were numerous in the "Big Woods," often heard them
"drumming" with their wings on logs in the spring time, sounded
like distant thunder.
Quails were plentiful on all farms.
Passenger Pigeons were very numerous in early spring, and con-
tinued to be so until a few years after the Civil War. The droves
were so great sometimes as to darken the sun-shine for several
minutes wh'.le all passed over. When feeding on the ground in
large numbers, often many thousands, they formed a line and had
a way of hopping over those in front, so that in wood-land, where
there was beech mast of the previous year, there was a great com.-
motion of birds scratching and throwing the leaves in the air.
When disturbed they all rose and flew at once, and so many wings
beating the air sounded like thunder. They had certain roosting
places to which they returned every night. One in Hancock coun-
ty and a larger one in Grant countv, Indiana. So many would col-
lect at nights at these places as to break limbs off the trees, and
many thousands of pigeons were killed with clubs by persons, who
'went to the roosts at night. The birds left in early morning: in
large or small droves, and sometimes flew very high, and probably
many miles, generally south or some southernly direction, always
returning to the "roost" at night. They have disappeared entire-
ly from this country, and no one knows whether they are extinct
Another bird not here now was the Raven, almost twice the size
of a crow, and so black that its feathers just glistened. It had a
way of flying in a circle, getting higher and higher all the time
until lost to sight, making its peculiar shrill cry as it rose.
Blue Herons (Cranes) lived and raised their young in the "Big
Woods," and continue to do so changing from one woodland to an-
other. They nest in the tops of the highest trees, such often
spoken of as "Cranesyille."
Wild or Wood Ducks were quite common and very numerous of
wet seasons in the swampy parts of the "Big Woods."
Crows were not as numerous then as now, and did not do as
Turkey Buzzards often had nests in high stumps and raised their
The "Big Woods"was the home of the Big Horned Hooting Owl.
the mighty terror of the poultry yard. If you were alone in the
woods, and heard him snap his bill, and heard his"hoot-to-hoo," it
would almost make the hair stand up on your head.
Deer have long been gone. The late Nathan Pierson of Howard
County, more than eighty years ago saw and counted thirty-fiVe
deer, one after the other pass up the ravine northeast of our house.
I was quite small when a wounded deer was "bayed" by dogs at
our orchard fence. Father went and caught it by a leg, and my
sister Abbie held it until he got an ax and killed it. Earnest
and other men, who were chasing it soon came up, but I do not re-
call more of the incident.
Several years previous Jonathan Phelps heard a Panther pass the
same ravine, there also. Abraham Small shot at a Black Bear one
evening but saw it no more.
There were Wild Cats or Catamounts all over the state, but none
were killed near here that I heard of.
Gray Squirrels were so abundant as to be a nuisance. They dug
up planted corn in the spring, and tore open shucks of roasting
ears to eat the grain, and continued their work until corn was
gathered, eating the "heart" out of the grain of dry corn, causing
great loss. I have known farmers to pay five cents per head to
hunters to shoot them. Fox Squirrels were rare, but I have seen
a few coal black ones of the gray variety.
Ground Hogs were rarely seen, but the weather came around all
rig-ht without "forecasts" or "shadows.
There were no Skunks.
Raccoons, Opossums, Musk Rats and "Cotton Tail" Rabbits were
There were Red and Gray Foxes, and their shrill bark was often
heard in the spring time. Missing poultry, pigs and lambs were
charged up to them.
Wolves were seen sometimes, and they also liked pigs and lambs.
There were some Beavers. I used often to see the remains of a
Beaver Dam in the swamp a little west of the house on the Joseph
Minks and Weasles were numerous and often played havoc in
the poultry yard.
The long tail Blue Rats were everywhere, and into everything.
They were twice as large as common m.ice, with very long slender
tails. Since the advent of the large Norway Rat the "long tailed
Blues" have disappeared.
Fish were very abundant and could be caught at any time, and
in any way— hook and line, snare, gig, trap, net or seine— net on
ice was a favorite way. Had the same varieties as now, except no
carp, which were brought from Germany by our Government.
Snakes about the same as now. not many poisonous.
The native American Black Bees were common, often kept in
rude hives, generally sections of small hollow trees and called "Bee
Gums." These bees were found in all wood-lands in hollow trees,
swarms often ran away to the woods. The Gold Banded Bees were
introduced in the early "60's" from Italy. They are larger, more
vigorous, better honey gatherers, and keep the bee-worms in sub-
jection better, and not so irritable nor as great stingers as the
American Black Bees. It is remarkable that the Italian Gold
Banded Bees have entirely superseded the American Black Bees in
their own hives, as well as the colonies of Wild Blacks in trees in
the woods here.
There were two kinds of Hornets— the Yellow Hornet, now about
extinct, and the Bald Hornet. The nests of the Bald Hornet may
be found in the late fall or early winter on trees, sometimes very
high, and are often larger than a three gallon bucket. The sting
of this hornet is terrible.
The wooded hills up and down Blue River must have been a good
hunting ground for the native Indians, as many arrow-heads, stone
axes, etc., have been found, I do not remember seeing the Wild
or Blanket Indians here, but I have been told, that when Carthage
was first settled there was a roving tribe on the Jesse Hill farm;
that when John D. Hill was a little boy he would run away to their
wigwams, and as he was a favorite of the Indians, his mother was
in constant fear that they might take him off.
Abraham Small's had a work shop with a foot-power turning-
lathe and some tools, and made spinning wheels, chairs and other
useful articles. Their rocking-chairs were in great demand be-
cause of the substantial frames, everlasting hickory bark bottoms,
comfortable seats, and rockers shaped properly for an easy, natur-
al swing. My father used one of their "old timers" day after day
in his declining years and I prefer that same chair for daily use.
My father had a "foot-power" turning-lathe, and a black-smith
shop. He made hinges and nails for gates, horse-shoes, horse- shoe
nails out of worn out horse-shoes and scrap iron, shod his own
I quote the following prices from my father's day book 1839 to
Big Spinning Wheel for wool $3.25
One Whirl to Samuel Bundy— 1840 06i
One Spool-1842 12|
Pair of Flyers for little spinning wheel — 1844... .25
Scythe Cradles without blades $1.25 to $1.50
Screw to hold cradle to blade -1842 12 J
Scythe Finger-1842 12A
Plows sharpened 05 to .06i
Hooping a barrel -1844 10to.l2i
One pair Carriage Springs to George Swain
One Broom 18j
Wool, perpound-1842 12J
Wool Roles for spinning, per pound— 1842 43
Flax, per pound— 1844 04
Fat Hogs to Thomas Tiner, per 100 pounds ... $1.25
Fat Hogs to Henry B. Hill, per 100 lbs. -1843 $1.50
Hog Meat, per pound 02* to .03
Beef, per pound— 1844 Olf
216 pounds Beef to Harmon Allen, per lb. -1846 .02
Live Turkeys, each — 1845 20
Home made Cheese, per pour3d~1842 06i to .08
Home-made Maple Sugar, per pound — 1842 08
Wheat, per bushel 40 to .50
Corn, per bushel — 1842 15
Corn, per bushel— 1850 30
Seed Corn, per bashel--1844 27
Oats, sheaf, per dozen 10 to .122
Hay, timothy, per load $1.50 to $3 00
Hay Stack, timothy. 3 or4 tons $6 50
Flax Seed, half bushel-1842 40
Timothy Seed, one j?allon 37i
Clover Seed, 50 bushels at 10c per bushel-
not hulled, to Abraham Small-1839 $5.00
207 Sweet Potato Plants bouj?ht of Jonathan
Jessup— 1844 26
Apples, in the fall, per bushel 08 to .15
Apples, in the sprinpr, per bushel 18f to .375
Apples, dried, one bushel— 1846 75
Barrel filled with Cider $1 00 to $1 25
Barrel and Cider $2.30 to $2.85
Vineo-ar, per gallon.... 25
Two Wild-cherry Saw Lojrs to Benj. Nixon
Making Fence Rails, per hundred 372
Gathering Corn, per day , 40
Binding Wheat, per day 60
Binding Oats, per day 75
Mowing Hay, per day 75
Breaking Flax, per day 75
During 1845, 1846, 1847 many days work, per
Later father bought a good, milk cow of Zachariah Small for
$10.00, which was the talk of the neighborhood, as it was consid-
ered an enormous price.
JAN 29 191/